Unexpectedly Intriguing!
July 31, 2019

Median household income in the United States rebounded to reach a new record high of $64,430 in June 2019, a 1.0% increase from Sentier Research's initial May 2019 estimate of $63,799.

The following chart shows the nominal (red) and inflation-adjusted (blue) trends for median household income in the United States from January 2000 through June 2019. The inflation-adjusted figures are presented in terms of constant June 2019 U.S. dollars, where June 2019's figure is just a bit below the inflation-adjusted peak of $64,809 recorded in January 2019.

Median Household Income in the 21st Century: Nominal and Real Estimates, January 2000 to June 2019

The year-over-year growth rate for median household income in the U.S. showed a small rebound in June 2019, increasing to 3.6% from 3.1% in the previous month in nominal terms, which is shown as the red line in the following chart.

Median Household Income in the 21st Century: Year Over Year Growth Rate, January 2001 to April 2019

Adjusted for inflation, the year-over-year growth rate of median household income was 1.9% in June 2019.

Analyst's Notes

With its latest data release, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis revised its previously reported personal income data from January 2014 through May 2019. We have updated our alternate model accordingly, with the updated relationships between average annualized wage and salary income per capita and median household income presented in the following chart.

Trailing Year Average Annualized Wage and Salary Income per Capita Versus Median Household Income, January 2000 to June 2019

Following the revision, our alternate methodology for estimating median household income using all of the updated data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis would put the figure at $64,761 for June 2019, which is within a half-percent of Sentier Research's estimate.

Coming up in September 2019, the U.S. Census Bureau will publish its estimate of median household income for 2018, which will provide a reference point for assessing Sentier Research's monthly estimates of median household income during that calendar year.

References

In generating inflation-adjusted portion of the Median Household Income in the 21st Century chart and the corresponding year-over-year growth rate chart above, we've used the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) to adjust the nominal median household income estimates for inflation, so that they are expressed in terms of the U.S. dollars for the month for which we're reporting the newest income data. Our data sources and other references are provided in the following list.

Sentier Research. Household Income Trends: January 2000 through June 2019. [Excel Spreadsheet with Nominal Median Household Incomes for January 2000 through January 2013 courtesy of Doug Short]. [PDF Document]. Accessed 30 July 2019. [Note: We've converted all data to be in terms of current (nominal) U.S. dollars.]

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Table 2.6. Personal Income and Its Disposition, Monthly, Personal Income and Outlays, Not Seasonally Adjusted, Monthly, Middle of Month. Population. [Online Database]. Last Updated: 30 July 2019. Accessed: 30 July 2019.

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Table 2.6. Personal Income and Its Disposition, Monthly, Personal Income and Outlays, Not Seasonally Adjusted, Monthly, Middle of Month. Compensation of Employees, Received: Wage and Salary Disbursements. [Online Database]. Last Updated: 30 July 2019. Accessed: 30 July 2019.

U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consumer Price Index, All Urban Consumers - (CPI-U), U.S. City Average, All Items, 1982-84=100. [Online Database (via Federal Reserve Economic Data)]. Last Updated: 11 July 2019. Accessed: 11 July 2019.

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